Browsing All posts tagged under »hardcore punk«

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 14, 2015

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The Stringers are a four-piece from Ontario, that plays rock music of the old school – which doesn’t mean that it’s ‘old-fashioned’, but that it’s pop music, god dammit! This is entertainment, with no pretensions to any kind of creative territory beyond that compass; all too often that can imply some kind of highly manufactured, overly polished and self-consciously vapid ‘product’, but this is all about melodies, grooves and the raw sound of musicians making it happen together. Crisp, tight performances are represented in an immediate, close-quarters production, through arrangements that evince a good understanding …

The Domestics – Routine and Ritual (punk)

July 14, 2015

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This is not music that’s meant to be engaged with as a text. It’s physical music, an onslaught of experience, that invites your participation or your absence. If its material impact has a politics, it’s a politics of action, a politics of fury, of atavistic solidarity and unmediated resistance. It’s music to enable the forging of many wills into one under the sacrament of alcohol; it offers a context where we can, in Public Enemy’s memorable phrase, party for our right to fight. But there is a lot more to Routine and Ritual than guitar noise: this is music with lyrics, and the lyrics are anything but unreflecting. The …

Review Of The Year 2014: 20 Albums

December 20, 2014

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My views on end-of-year roundups in general are quite aggressive, and can be read at greater length in the introduction to last year’s selection, here. Suffice it to say that I think anyone claiming to know which are the best few albums released in any given year is seriously delusional; my selection is simply some of the records I liked the most out of those I happened to come across. These records are all seriously good, but there were over a hundred other albums that could equally well have made it onto my list; my advice is, yes, investigate these records, but more importantly, go hunting for …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 26, 2013

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Cassette mushes everything up and squeezes it together; on top of the warm, lush distortions naturally imparted by magnetic tape, the whole stereo recording is crammed onto half of a tape less than four millimeters wide. It takes some clever mastering to get a really spacious, clearly separated soundfield, but if what you want is a totally integrated sound then the format does half the work for you. This, you may be thinking, says ‘punk’ in brackets after the title, so why am I not talking about the songs? Production and other technical matters are a means to an end at best where punk’s concerned…

The Domestics – The G.D.P. E.P. (punk)

April 21, 2013

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When I reviewed The Domestics’ debut release, on a CD in a jewel case, looking like a regular album, I noted that despite clocking in at just over twenty minutes, it seemed to have considerably more to say than most albums, which usually spend in excess of an hour saying it. Well, this eight-and-a-half minute wafer of yellow vinyl seems designed to drive the point home even more emphatically. There are six songs, a number comparable to the tracklisting of many ‘full length’ albums, and all of them have a great deal to say. While it’s true that many longer pieces of music need the time they take, and that the passage of time during the listening experience may be an aspect of musical meaning, the fact remains that there are albums …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

November 20, 2012

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Why do I write reviews? Largely so that I can blag free music instead of buying it like everyone else, and so I can kid my conscience that my inane ramblings are an adequate substitute for paying musicians their due. Of course I can (and will, given half a chance) list any number of more high-minded motivations, but I always feel that the transaction is balanced in my favour; so when this CD was pressed on me by guitarist Simon Rollo, and a review requested with the circumspection of a man asking me to clean the diarrhoea off his sofa, I was amused, embarrassed and confirmed in my impression of Three Thrones, which is that whatever they’re full of, it’s not themselves.

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

June 4, 2012

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In recent years the avant-garde fringes of metal have become one of the most fertile sites of musical creativity and invention; while my central musical inclinations might be towards other areas, such as jazz or folk, and while those areas certainly harbour some radically creative minds globally, the majority of music produced and performed locally to me is pretty conservative. Earthmass is one of several bands I have the opportunity to engage with directly (attending gigs, meeting the members, building an ongoing relationship as a music writer, etc.) that pursue a radical formal agenda, and really keep their eye on the ball creatively. There is no uncritical regurgitation of the tropes of heavy music here, no taking the language as given …